This weekend Britain celebrates the wedding of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle, and we at Footnoting History are thrilled. Join us as we mark the occasion by discussing another cross-Atlantic union: the marriage of US President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Johnson of England.
Podcasters: Christine and Elizabeth
Poet, playwright, philosopher, scientist, and science fiction author--just a few of the occupations held by the 17th-century noblewoman, Lady Margaret Cavendish. One of the towering intellects of her day, Cavendish was a prodigious writer who was by her own account painfully shy, but whose works were revolutionary in their imaginativeness and insight. In this episode, we will explore the life of this remarkable woman, the story of her family during the tumult of the English Civil War, and how she navigated the male-dominated intellectual world of Stuart England.
In the 20th Century, W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the leading intellectuals of the movement to gain equality for African-Americans. His daughter, Yolande Du Bois, found much of her life shaped by her father's desire for his daughter to be the exemplar of the abilities and potential of African-Americans. In this episode, Elizabeth examines Yolande's life and to what it extent it was shaped by her father.
It’s a truism to say that the Victorian age was a period of rapid technological and social change. It was also a period when science, increasingly, posited proofs for the unseen, from bacteria to mental illness to sexual orientation. Scientific discoveries and debates were cause for anxiety, as well as excitement. Whether through fictional scientists or science fiction, literature could be a place to explore society’s complex relationships to scientific change.
During the American Revolution, not everyone living in the rebellious colonies wanted to separate from Great Britain. In this episode, find out how Loyalists (those still devoted to King George III) coped with the war ending and the colonies achieving independence.
Some time before 1162 a Mongol girl named Hoelun was kidnapped and taken as a bride. A short time later she gave birth to a future emperor. Although the details of her story are shrouded in mystery, the tales that are told of her reveal a wealth of information about steppe culture and hint at the motivations of her son as he rewrote the very fabric of that society.
When popes are elected today, the cardinals of the Catholic Church meet in secret conclave. But it wasn't always so. In the 9th through 11th centuries, control of the Chair of St. Peter was fiercely contested between several Roman families, who put their sons, brothers, and lovers on the papal throne. In this episode, we will look at the murders, depositions, adultery, illicit relationships, trials of papal cadavers, and debauched behavior that allegedly characterized this period, as well as the important role played by two Roman noblewomen--Theodora and Marozia Theophylacti--that led some 19th century historians to label this as a "pornocracy."
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